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A Channel port since Saxon times from which the French coast is visible on clear days, with steep narrow steps leading down to the fishing harbour and once ferry terminal, and the expansive Victorian resort, developed after the railway arrived in 1842. A lift of 1885, powered by water pressure, takes visitors down to the Maritime Gardens and Undercliff Road. The beach is much frequented by wind surfers. Nearby is Folkestone Warren, formed by a coastal landslide in 1915. It is known for its rare wild flowers.

Kentculture is an online community to help promote culture in Southeast England.
Bringing together people creating and supporting a wide range of talent. Do you Sing, Dance, Paint? Play an Instrument, take Photographs, wish to show your skills? Holding an event? Find out More.
Shopping in Folkestone
The 'Lanterns' is the older part of the town centre, and has many interesting independent shops. The winding, cobbled, Old High Street, is exactly what it says, and is now home to a thriving artistic quarter.
There are hundreds of independent retailers situated in the Kent, offering an array of worldwide brands to locally sourced products. Each and every one of them offer a customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Folkestone Directory
Folkestone Market
A market is held each Thursday and Saturday in the town centre, & once a month it includes a good French market.
Kent Markets
Folkestone Sports Centre
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The Folkestone Sports Centre is a fun-filled activities, sports, and leisure centre the whole family can enjoy.
Everyone in the community, whether local resident or visitor, is invited to come use the Centre's wide
range of facilities for healthy recreation, competition, or leisurely entertainment.

*Fitness Suite * Weight Training Room *2 dance and aerobic studios * Junior fitness Gym
* Cafe and Bar * Pool viewing gallery *Toning Chairs and Toning Beds * Treatment and Therapies
*25 metre Swimming Pool *Teaching Pool * Racket Sports * Ball Sports
* Ski and Toboggan Slopes * 9 hole golf course * Disability sports sessions and inclusive sports
* Sensory Room * Disabled changing facilities * Lift to all floors
Radnor Park Avenue
Folkestone Kent CT19 5HX
Telephone: 01303 850 222
For directions check the Interactive map
Folkestone Museum
Folkestone museum depicts key moments in the life of this coastal town in South East Kent. With artefacts relating to smuggling, marine life, defense and the towns role as a popular holiday destination, as well as Folkestone on film and hands-on activities for children.
A new interpretation of the story of Folkestone with many hands-on features and archive film. There is an adjacent art gallery with a variety of temporary exhibitions. A heritage research room is also in the same building.
For directions check the Interactive map
Folkestone Art Society
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Folkestone Art Society (FAS) was formed in 1928 by a number of local artists who were meeting in one anothers homes. Since then the membership has grown to over 200 hundred. The first exhibition was in 1935 and held in the now defunct Pleasure Gardens Theatre, Folkestone. Exhibitions have been held every year since then except for the war years. Since 1997 major exhibitions have been held at The Grand as well as at other venues.

FAS aims to promote the visual arts to the wider public through exhibitions, workshops and lectures. It also encourages excellence in the visual, creative and applied arts through providing its members with opportunities to exhibit and sell artworks as well as encouraging young people studying art and design through its annual Gloria Gordon Award. Full details of our aims and objectives can be found here.

Members also meet one another socially and are active within Folkestone`s thriving arts community.

The annual FAS Art Review, which is published in paper copy and on-line, provides the public with an opportunity to both see work by an artist and to understand something of the artists motivation and inspiration. For members it can also be a useful means of bringing their work to the attention of a wider audience.
Folkestone Churches
St Mary and St Eanswythe
Christ Church
St John the Baptist
St Peter
St Saviour
Holy Trinity
St Augustine
St George
Folkestone Harbour
A beautiful little harbour - and tidal which is not common. You can hire a kayak to explore the inner and outer harbours, see Cornelia Parker's mermaid looking out over the sea, discover a couple of Tracey Emin's baby things and find several other amazing artworks by international artists where you might not expect to find them.

Children love the fountain, the seafood stall provides a tasty snack and restaurants offer a choice of menus. A walk through the arches takes one to Sunny Sands overlooked by Folkestone's own 'Little Mermaid'.
For directions check the Interactive map
Folkestone Martello Towers
Tower 1 stands 200 feet up on the cliffs above East Wear Bay, within sight of Towers 2 and 3 below, all of which could have benefitted from the addition of moats. It was quite possibly used by the Coast Blockade and Coast Guard, but was described as unoccupied and missing its outer skin of brickwork as early as 1870. By the 1970's Folkestone Corporation had bought the tower and begun repair work. By the 1990's, the stucco cement rendering had been replaced with one of brick, and with a ground-level door and extra windows added at both floor levels, the tower became a residence.
For directions check the Interactive map
The Roman Villa
The Roman Villa
Copt Point (where there is a pitch and putt course) at Folkestone’s East Cliff with East Wear Bay. There is an area known as the Warren. This place is important because of its history. There is a Roman villa buried on the cliff top and even older remains as well. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its wildlife and geology. People go fossil hunting on the beach.

In 1924, lots of people came to see the Roman villa at Folkestone’s East Cliff when it was being excavated. There were articles in the newspapers in England and France. In the Daily Express the reporter wrote this!
“Folkestone has become the scene of an archaeological boom such as no fashionable watering-place has ever before experienced. Gaily attired girls, escorted by youths in flannels, sedate, elderly professional men, and enthusiastic schoolboys jostle in the queue awaiting admission”.
For directions check the Interactive map
The Creative Quarter
The Creative Quarter is an area of Folkestone that has been developed by the Creative Foundation, a charity launched in 2002, to regenerate Folkestone through the arts, the creative industries and education. It is an amazing area of Folkestone, where people’s creativity is encouraged, supported and enabled to flourish.

The Creative Quarter has become home to a thriving collection of artists’ studios and creative businesses and offers aspiring artists, retailers and business people a chance to become a part of this lively and ever-growing community. This is a unique opportunity to develop artistic and enterprising ventures in the historic heart of Folkestone.
Folkestone Triennial 2014
The Folkestone Triennial is one of the most ambitious public art projects presented in the UK.
Located in the seaside town of Folkestone on the south-east coast of England, artists are invited to use the town as their ‘canvas’, utilising public spaces to create striking new pieces that reflect issues affecting both the town and the wider world. Artists commissioned to take part in previous triennials include Cornelia Parker, Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller, Martin Creed and Richard Wilson.
The Folkestone Triennial takes place every three years and is one of the 5 key projects of the Creative Foundation, which is an independent visionary arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. Working with the people of Folkestone, partners and other stakeholders, the Creative Foundation is transforming the town making it a better place to live, work, visit and study.
For directions check the Interactive map
Folkestone Poster
Folkestone Poster
H G Wells
H G Wells - H G as he was known - came to the Folkestone area in 1896 for the benefit of his health. Initially he rented a small, furnished house in Sandgate - Beach Cottage - which was so close to the sea that in rough weather the waves broke over the roof. He then moved to a nearby semi-detached villa, Arnold House, while supervising the construction of his own house by Charles Voysey, the well-known Arts & Crafts architect.
Spade House, now a Grade II Listed Building, is halfway down the hill from Folkestone Leas to Sandgate. In a commanding position overlooking the sea, with at that time a water-powered lift to The Leas literally on the doorstep, this became the home for H. G., his wife Jane and their two sons for nine hectic years.
Folkestone Cricket Club
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Folkestone Cricket Club
Folkestone Cricket Club run teams every week for players of all ages and abilities.
In 2013 the club moved to it's stunning new Clubhouse and Sports Hall, an extensive redevelopment of the County Ground at Cheriton Road funded by a donation from the Roger De Haan Charitable Foundation.
Known as Three Hills Park, the new facility provides a Centre of Excellence for Cricket, Hockey and Netball - creating one of the finest Sports Venues in the South East of England.
The history of FCC shows that the club has provided talented players for 153 years. In the long line of players that have played for Kent in recent years Robbie Joseph, Geraint Jones & James Tredwell have carried the club colours forward with pride, and have played a part in coaching here.
Senior Cricket
The First & Second XI play every Saturday in Divisions 1 & 2 of the Kent Cricket League. The Third team also play on a Saturday in the Kent Regional League and we also have a 4th team which will compete in the KRL next season.
On Sundays we play in the Lords East Kent League where our team is made up by our seniors and colts.
Colts Cricket
We run Colts teams in the following age groups:- Under 11s, Under 13s and Under 15s.
All teams play competitive cricket in the Saxon Shore League. The U11s and U13s play on Sunday mornings whilst the U15s play mostly on Tuesday evenings.
Come and join us!
New players young and old are welcome.
Contact Alwyn Fernandes (Colts) 07516 811470 or
Andy Bray (Adults) ( for more details!
For directions check the Interactive map
Folkestone - Cinque Port
FOLKESTONE LIMB One of three towns are the Associates of Dover. Margate, like Ramsgate was on an island in medieval times and the area is still called the Isle of Thanet. King Steven,his wife and son are buried at Faversham, a town that still retains it's ancient character.
Cinque Ports
Folkestone Poster
Dining in Folkestone
Whether you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal or indulge in a taste sensation, Kent caters for every occasion.
Check the Folkestone Directory
Folkestone Castle
The Leas
The mile-long cliff-top promenade of The Leas offers sea views to France. Ride the historic Leas Lift down to the Lower Leas Coastal Park for a picnic or a BBQ, then get some sand between your toes on Folkestone's Sunny Sands beach.
For directions check the Interactive map
The Warren
Folkestone Warren is of considerable biological, geological and physiographical interest. The site encompasses the range of marine and terrestrial habitats associated with the chalk cliffs, and with the underlying Gault clay and Lower Greensand. These habitats support outstanding assemblages of plants and invertebrates together with individual species which are nationally uncommon.
In 1924, The Warren was given by Lord Radnor to the Corporation of Folkestone but with the stipulation that there was to be no grazing.
For directions check the Interactive map
See more below
Lower Leas Coastal Park
The coastal park is a wonderful Place to walk and explore the playground is brilliant, well maintained, safe and lots of fun! Good places to picnic and the Mermaid cafe is great for meals, snacks & ice cream!
Attractive walk from Folkestone to Sandgate, close to the sea. The park has facilities for barbecues and picnics and areas for children to play. There is a small arena where bands often play and the grounds alongside the walk are well planted.
For directions check the Interactive map
Folkestone Tennis
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Folkestone Tennis Club is here for the people of the Kent seaside town and surrounding village. This club is located in the Folkestone Sports Centre, who support and encourage the local population to participate in sports. Over the past year the junior programme has grown and enjoyable grade 6 competitions have been run to challenge players of all ages. Folkestone Tennis Club strongly promotes the belief that tennis really is for all.
Radnor Park Avenue
Folkestone Kent CT19 5HX
Telephone: 01303 850 222
For directions check the Interactive map
Folkestone Golf
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Etchinghill Golf Club
Large extensive clubhouse with full catering facilities and spike bars.
Professional Shop and Tuition.
Covered 15 bay Driving Range with short game practice area.
18 Hole Golf Course + additional 9/18 hole valley course.
Superb Changing Facilities.
Excellent Venue for Societies 7 days per week all year round perfect location for weddings & functions.
Putting green & buggies available for hire.

Sene Valley Golf Club
A downland course, with stunning views of the North Downs and across the English Channel . Enjoy our excellent undulating greens and then the friendly service in Bar and Restaurant.
Sene Valley G.C. is the nearest Golf Course to the Channel Tunnel either side of the water. So why not break your journey with a days golf and channel views that will amaze you. We are most fortunate in having one of the most picturesque golf course locations in Kent. Our course is kept in excellent condition and the fast undulating greens are a pleasure to putt on. We have some of the best putting surfaces around. Map and directions to the Club are in the 'Contact us' section of the website.
There is ample car parking at Sene Valley Golf Club and when you have finished your round why not join the members in the bar for a drink and a bite to eat. If you would like to pre-book food then contact our caterer via the club and he will be happy to discuss your requirements.
Our club regularly welcomes many visitors from all over the UK and Europe.

Hythe Imperial Golf Club
Challenging 9-hole links course with views over the English Channel on one side and bordered by the Napoleonic Military Canal on the other. Easy-walking course.
For directions check the Interactive map
Battle of Britain Museum
The most important collection of Battle of Britain artifacts on show in the country. The Museum was lucky to acquire one of the sites of Britain's epic struggle for survival in 1940, in what was the greatest air battle of all time. The airfield itself was the nearest Royal Air Force station to enemy-occupied France and only some ten minutes flying time away from the Luftwaffe fighter airfields in the Pas-de-Calais, in addition to which the airfield and surrounding district was subjected to long range cross-Channel shelling from the German shore batteries stationed along the French coast. Not for nothing was the Folkestone area known as "Hellfire Corner".
Despite the passing years today's visitor can still savour the atmosphere of the airfield's past with the landmarks and buildings that remain, acting as points of reference, whilst beyond can be seen the English Channel and the French coast.

The Museum is entirely self-supporting and stands or falls by the number of visitors it attracts. It is run by eight enthusiasts and volunteers. We are always pleased to accept donations of relevant items of the period for display.
Kent Battle of Britain Museum
Aerodrome Road
Hawkinge, Folkestone, Kent
CT18 7AG
Telephone: 01303 ‚Äč893140
For directions check the Interactive map
William Harvey
This bronze statue to the memory of William Harvey, sculpted by Albert Bruce-Joy in 1878, can be seen on the seafront promenade (on the corner of The Leas and Clifton Gardens) of Folkestone, his native town.
The statue stands on a white granite plinth about 3 metres (10 feet) high. The bronze statue, about 125% life size, stands atop the plinth. The statue shows Harvey dressed in the robes of the early 17th century. He is looking south, across the English Channel, and his right hand is held across his heart. In his left hand he is holding a heart.
Harvey was an English physician who was the first to describe accurately how blood was pumped around the body by the heart.
William Harvey was born in Folkestone, Kent on 1 April 1578. His father was a merchant. Harvey was educated at King's College, Canterbury and then at Cambridge University. He then studied medicine at the University of Padua in Italy, where the scientist and surgeon Hieronymus Fabricius tutored him.
For directions check the Interactive map
Folkestone Smuggling
In the long struggle between the free traders and the various preventive services there was hideous violence, needless suffering, villainy and greed, but also determination, skill and courage on both sides. This was a significant episode in our social history. For more than a century the black economy played a major role in everyday life, probably accounting in peak years for a quarter of all of England's overseas trade, and employing up to 40,000 at a time.
On 28 April 2007, a short earthquake occurred at 8:18am. The earthquake was felt for up to 15 seconds, many residents in Folkestone and surrounding areas said they felt their house shake. Folkestone was damaged the worst with power out to thousands of homes and some houses being evacuated due to chimneys falling through houses. Luckily only one person was injured. The earthquake was registered at 4.3 on the richter scale. The earthquake was felt as far away as Essex.

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Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway Timetable 2015

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Kent Towns & Villages
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Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.

Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View and even old Ordnance Survey maps with a modern day Google map overlay, Cycle routes and much more.

Folkestone to Etchinghill Escarpment

This extensive area of chalk grassland and scrub is located on the steep escarpment north of Folkestone. The site is one of the largest remaining areas of unimproved chalk downland in Kent. Three nationally rare plants listed on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and
specially protected by law, are present; late spider orchid Ophrys fuciflora, early spider orchid Ophrys sphegodes and bedstraw broomrape Orobanche caryophyllacea. Asholt Wood at the western end of the site is regarded as one of the best examples of a coppiced ash woodland in the county. It has an outstanding lichen flora and a diverse breeding bird community. The site also supports an outstanding assemblage of insects including many local and rare species. Part of the
site, Holywell Coombe, is of importance for its fossil remains. Most of the downland is dominated by tor-grass Brachypodium pinnatum and fescues Festuca species in a mixed sward of quaking grass
Briza media, crested hair-grass Koeleria cristata and upright brome Bromus erectus. Many herbs characteristic of unimproved grassland are present such as horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa, salad burnet Sanguisorba minor, squinancywort Asperula cynanchica and small scabious Scabiosa columbaria. There is a thin scattering of shrubs, mainly hawthorn, along most of the escarpment. Extensive areas of dense hawthorn and gorse scrub are present, particularly along the top and bottom of the slopes. Ash and oak have become established in some areas and are developing into secondary woodland. Among the dense scrub at Holywell is a marshy area dominated by greater willowherb Epilobium hirsutum and hemp- agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum. A number of springs emerge from the foot of the escarpment. The site supports a diverse insect fauna including a number of nationally rare flies, moths and butterflies. Of special interest is the annulet mothGnophos obscuratus which is noted for its different genetic colour forms. This is the only known locality in Britain for the form fasciata. In addition the nationally rare straw belle moth Aspitates gilvaria is found
here. Among the butterflies the locally uncommon adonis blue Lysandra bellargus and small blue Cupido minimus are two species with a restricted distribution. Asholt Wood is situated on the Gault Clay at the foot of the escarpment. The soils are poorly drained and range from highly calcareous near the chalk scarp, to neutral with some mildly acidic patches. The woodland has been managed as coppice-with-standards in the past but most has been neglected for many years. Ash and hazel with some field maple are the main coppiced species beneath pedunculate oak
standards. Coppiced alder occurs along Seabrook Stream which runs through the middle of the wood. Small patches of hornbeam coppice are present in the more acidic areas. The shrub layer is sparse but varied and includes several species characteristic of calcareous soils such as dogwood and spindle. The woodland ground flora is dominated by dog’s mercury Mercurialis perennis, enchanter’s nightshade Circaea lutetiana, tufted hair-grass Deschampsia caespitosa and brambles Rubus fruticosus. Uncommon plants such as thin-spiked wood sedge Carex strigosa, stinking iris Iris foetidissima and fly orchid Ophrys insectifera also occur. The breeding bird community includes many typical woodland species such as great spotted woodpecker, tawny owl, nuthatch and treecreeper. The geological interest of Holywell Coombe can be defined as follows: 'An important Pleistocene sequence of Devensian, Late-glacial and Flandrian spring and slope deposits containing fossil molluscs, plant remains and fossil beetles occurs within this Chalk coombe. A key feature of the deposits is that they allow changes in the fossil molluscan fauna to be compared with vegetation zones and standard pollen zones. A series of mollusc assemblage zones defined on the basis of the successive mollusc faunas at Holywell Coombe is now established as a standard against which to compare and date other sites in southern England where similar mollusc assemblages occur. Holywell Coombe is therefore a key Pleistocene reference site.'
Folkestone to Etchinghill Escarpment

Folkestone Warren

Folkestone Warren is of considerable biological, geological and physiographical interest. The site spans the coastline between Folkestone and Dover and encompasses the range of marine and terrestrial habitats associated with the chalk cliffs, and with the underlying Gault clay and Lower Greensand exposed at the ??stern end of the site. These habitats support outstanding assemblages of plants and invertebrates, together with individual species which are nationally uncommon.
On the cliff tops and further inland are small areas of chalk grassland, whilst on the chalk cliff ledges and slopes are plant species with a preference for maritime or calcareous habitats. Several are rare nationally and some with mainly continental distribution reach their northernmost point in Great Britain at this site. Their survival on this stretch of coast may be largely attributable to its warm, south facing, sheltered climate, which is comparable to that of re g ions several degrees latitude to the south. Many rare invertebrates breed within the site, representing several taxonomic groups and also including species with a preference for warm climates. The site is also a major landing place for migrant insects from the continent which may form temporary colonies.
The site contains one of the most Important localities for marine interest between the Isle of Wight and Flamborough Head, by virtue of the combination of intertidal habitats and communities, another rare species which are present. Also of considerable interest are the plant and animal communities of the adjoining sublittoral zone.
Terrestrial Interest
Chalk is exposed for much of the length of the site, the underlying gault clay creates instability in the chalk and landslips occur from time to time resulting in a mosaic of cliff ledges, scree, bare faces and undercliffs, of varying slope and aspect. This configuration is best developed at the eastern end of the site where the cliffs are undefended. The cliff vegetation is predominantly calcareous grassland but scrub Is present on the more stable undercliffs, and there is a characteristic assemblage of plant species at the spray-line which includes such national rarities as sea-heath Frankenia laevis, curved hard-grass Parapholis ??crva and golden samphire Inula crithmoides. Above the sprayline, plant
species typical of calcareous grassland and of maritime habitats grow side by side, resulting in plant communities which are considered rare in Europe. Several nationally scarce plant species are represented here, including wild cabbage Brassica oleracea and the Dover variety of Nottingham catchfly Silene nutans var. nutans, whilst the humid climate favours the growth of species which inland are restricted to woodlands on calcareous soils, such as stinking iris Iris foetidissima and wood spurge Euphorbia amygdaloides. The clove-scented broomrape Orobanche caryophyllacea, in Great Britain only known from five sites in East Kent, is also present. The areas of chalk grassland on the cliff tops and inland are chiefly dominated by sheep's-fescue Festuca ovina, tor-grass Brachiopodium pinnatum and upright brome Bromus erectus, and a variety of herb species characteristic of chalk soils are present. These include early spider-orchid Ophrys sphegodes, and horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa, food plant of the larvae of the Adonis blue butterfly, which breeds within the site.
The Gault and Lower Greensand cliffs at the western end of the site are unstable and sparsely vegetated. In the Warren, landslips have given rise to a succession of steep, broken slopes where scrub and woodland is developing and there are several small ponds. The combination of southerly aspect, chalk substratum and maritime influence of the site provides favourable conditions for a wide diversity of invertebrate species, several of which occur sparsely if at all outside south east England. These include the harvestman Trogulus tricarinatus and the millipede Polydesmus testaceus. A number of rare Lepidoptera species have bred within the site including the fiery clearwing moth Bembecia chrysidiformis, known only from Folkestone Warren in Britain. Regular migrants to the site from the continent include the sub-angled wave moth Scopula nigropunctata. The ornithological interest of the site includes cliff-nesting and wintering bird species and migrants, particularly passerines such as chats and warblers in the autumn, which make landfall in Folkestone Warren and in other areas of scrub. The site contains one of the two cliff-nesting colonies of housemartins in the county and fulmars breed on the cliffs in reasonable numbers for Kent. Small numbers of purple sandpiper overwinter on the rocky foreshore at Copt Point and below Shakespeare Cliff.
Littoral Interest
The range of geological substrata exposed on the shore provides a diversity of intertidal habitats and these are colonised by a wide variety of marine plants and animals in characteristic assemblages. Many species found here are rare in south east England or nationally and reach their eastern limit of distribution in the Eastern Channel at this site. The chalk shore at Abbots Cliff and Shakespeare Cliff are among the better examples of their type in south east England. They possess full vertical shore zonations and a wide range of plant and animal assemblages characteristic of this soft rock are present on the wave cut platform and chalk boulder habitats, the latter being continually renewed from the unprotected cliff face. The wave exposed headland at Abbots Cliff Is animal dominated in contrast to the Shakespeare Cliff site with its luxuriant algal growths. The clay bands of the Lower Chalk form wave cut intertidal platforms between Shakespeare Cliff and Abbots Cliff, and in East Wear Bay These clays support characteristic and unusual assemblages of small algal species with many ephemerals and including rarities such as Scinaia forcellata, Sphacellana spp and Derbesia tenuissima, and species well outside their normal limits of distribution, such as Chorda filum. Copt Point, formed principally of hard Lower Greensand, is a unique site in Kent and south east England. It supports algal assemblages more typical of northern and western England including the fucoid algae Pelvetia canaliculata and Ascophyllum nodosum, which are very rare on natural substrata in the south east. The intertidal fauna are a so unusual for south east England, beingparticularly species-rich and with some species rarely recorded east of the Isle of Wight.
Sublittoral Interest
Whilst the SSSI boundary follows Mean Low Water Mark, there are also marine communities of interest on the lower shore and in the sublittoral which itself falls into three fairly distinct regions. Off Copt Point Folkestone, the sea-bed is rocky (greensand), but the presence of the sewage outfall has resulted in much of the area becoming dominated by extensive mats of mussels, upon which are feeding large numbers of starfish Species diversity here is low, although potentially could be high in
East Wear Bat the sea bed in the shallow sublittoral is predominantly sandy, and supports polychaete worms, bivalve molluscs and many juvenile flat fish. The most interesting area is off Abbot’s Cliff and Shakespeare Cliff where there is an almost continuous belt stretching to around 300 m offshore which consists of chalk bedrock overlain with chalk boulders up to 2m high. In places, clay and marl bands in the Lower Chalk are exposed, so providing a variety of different substrata for the flora and fauna There are rich growths of algae, including kelps, and animal ‘turf’, together with a range of larger animals. The sublittoral chalk habitat is scarce in Kent, and the site may mark the eastern limit of distribution along the English Channel of species such as the kelp Laminaria nyperborea.
Geological Interest
The coastline between Folkestone and Dover contains two internationally Important reference sites for stratigraphic studies of certain stages of the Cretaceous Period in geological history, and the formations present are of Importance for the vertebrate and invertebrate fossils which they yield in addition the succession of coastal landslips which has taken place in Folkestone Warren Is of considerable geological interest. The series of cliff sections at the western end of the site, with some 50m of Folkestone Beds and Gault, represents the most important single locality for studying the sedimentology and stratigraphy of these formations in England. The sequence has been the focus of extensive research and represents the historical type section for both the Folkestone Beds and the Gault. This is an historic locality of international importance for stratigraphic and palaeontological studies in the Albian the Cretaceous period. In addition, the East Wear Bay section of the Gault Cliffs has yielded a selection of reptiles from several horizons and is considered to be the best Gault reptile site in Britain. The reptiles are often well localised, and they may be dated by abundant ammonites. The reptiles are mainly marine forms; turtles Rhinochelys, ichthyosaurs Opthalmosaurus, plesiosaurus Cimiliosaurus, pliosaurs Polyptychodon, and pterosaurs Ornithocheirus. The East Wear Bay section has produced type specimens of several species, and fresh erosion maintains the potential of the site. The chalk sections which span this site together with those which fall within the Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs SSSI are an internationally important stratigraphic reference site which provides extensive and near continuous cliff and shore exposures of the Cenomanian, Turonian and Coniacian Stages of the Cretaceous Period (Lower, Middle and early Upper-Chalk). The site is historically very important as many geological principles, such as biostratigraphic zonation were tested here during the early development of geology. Many parts of the succession are fossiliferous and, in particular, the up per parts of the Turonian and lower p arts of the Coniacian are rich in Micraster, which have contributed, and still are contributing to our knowledge of evolution. The area of coastal landslides at Folkestone Warren which includes both Chalk and Gault, has probably been more intensively studied than any other of comparable size in
Great Britain. This is largely because it is crossed by the main Folkestone-Dover railway line, which on occasion has been displaced by slipping (notably in 1915), creating an immediate demand for detailed studies and monitoring. The site has suffered twelve major slips since 1765, and is now protected by a complex of coastal defence works whose long-term effect on the movements provides a field of future study.
Folkestone Warren Maps
More Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Kent
Kent Place Names
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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
Kent Place Names
Kentish Dialect
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
Kentish Dialect
Kent Parishes

Kent Parishes
Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894-1895


Folkestone, a seaport town and parish, a municipal and (in conjunction with Hythe) a parliamentary borough in Kent. The town stands on the coast, and has stations on the S.E.R., 70 miles from London, 6^ WSW of Dover, and 15 SSE of Canterbury. Acreage of the civil parish, 2482; population, 23,905; of the ecclesiastical, 23,216; of the municipal borough, 23,711. For municipal purposes the town is divided into three wards, and is governed by a corporation consisting of mayor, 4 aldermen, and 14 councillors. Its name was written Folcestane by the Saxons, Fulchestan in Domesday Book, and has been regarded as a corruption of variously Fulke's town, signifying " the town of Fulke," Folkh'-stane, signifying "the fairies' rock," and Flos-stane, signifying (t the break in the rock." Its site is a congeries of cliffs and hillocks, such as to have induced Thomas Ingoldsby to say-" Rome stood on seven hills, Folkestone seems to have been built on seventy." Folkestone Hill is 575 feet high, and commands a fine view of the town, and a rich and extensive prospect over coast and sea. A ridge of cliffs, overhanging a coast road, extends on the one hand to Sand-gate, another ridge of cliffs extends on the other hand all the way to Dover, and these cliffs, besides affording very fine sea views, command in clear weather a distinct prospect of the French coast.
The original town was known to the Romans, but has disappeared beneath the-waves, and even the succeeding town dates from remote times, but suffered such ravages by the Danes and the French, and has at different times sustained such damage by the beating of the billows, that it now presents far fewer ancient remains than might have been expected from its antiquity. Roman coins and bricks have been found, pieces of Saxon arms and pottery also have been found, but the extant ancient remains consist merely of traces of building, and can be observed only as shapeless fragments embodied in walls- A Roman watch-tower is believed to have stood on a cliff a short distance S of the present parish church ; a castle was built on the same site, about the year 630,. by Eadbald, king of Kent; a nunnery was founded within the castle by Eanswith, daughter of King Eadbald was ravaged by the Danes, and was afterwards replaced by a Benedictine priory; another castle, for a fortress, was built on the same site, by the Avranches de Abrincis, who became lords of the manor soon after the Norman Conquest; but all these structures, and the very cliff on which they stood, have been swept away by the sea. Part of the area which they occupied is marked by the present Bail-a name corrupted from ballium; a reservoir here, called the Bail Pond is supplied from a spring which St Eanswith is fabled to have brought hither by a miracle, and a reach of ancient wall still standing on the E side may perhaps be Norman. The Benedictine priory was rebuilt on another site, at a distance of 560 yards, was made a cell to Lonlay Abbey in Normandy, and served for a time to maintain the previous importance of the town by attracting devotees; some slight traces of building, supposed to indicate its site,. are still observable in the parsonage garden.
Great ruins of a solemn old nunnery," are mentioned by Leiand as existing in his time; and Roman tiles are said by another writer to have been traceable among these ruins, but all these, both walls and tiles, have vanished. The town, at Domesday, had five churches, and was an honour held by Nigel de Mundeville; but, in spite of its continuing to possess the attraction of Eanswith's priory, it appears to have declined, and after the Reformation it sank into obscurity till toward the end of the 18th century, when it came into notice as a fishing town. But, by the opening of the railway to it, by consequent improvements on its harbour, by the constituting of it a packet station to Boulogne, and by the discovery of its position and environs as eminently suited for seabathing quarters, it has undergone vast change, and is now one of the most frequented and fashionable watering-places on the south-east coast.
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Smugglers, Shipwrecks, Spies

Half close your eyes and you can picture darting figures, bringing ashore their booty: Brandy for the Parson, ’Baccy for the Clerk; Laces for a lady, letters for a spy... Enjoy the thrill of the chase and get hot on their heels!
Kent’s coast, so near to the Continent, was prime territory for ‘free trading’, no place more so than remote Romney Marsh. To this day you feel far away from the bustle of ordinary life here, the squat Romney Marsh sheep still grazing as they have for centuries. When massive taxes on exports of wool were imposed in the 13th century, locals made fat profits from smuggling fleeces to weavers on the Continent.
Explore their haunts, including the medieval marsh churches: look in Snargate church for the wall painting of a ship dating from 1500 – smugglers’ code for a safe place to hide illicit goods. And soak up the atmosphere of the old Woolpack inn near Brookland, once a smugglers’ base. The contrabandists were nicknamed ‘owlers’ because they communicated by hooting at dead of night and they came from all sections of society. Flick through Russell Thorndyke’s Dr Syn novel (1915) and you’ll find even the vicar of Dymchurch led a double life as a smuggler.
Then blow away the cobwebs scrunching across the wild, shingle beach of Dungeness. In one week in 1813 free traders landed 12,000 gallons of brandy here, out of sight of prying eyes. After filling your lungs with fresh air, skirt up the coast to Folkestone, passing the territory of the notorious 19th-century Aldington Gang. Smugglers in Folkestone often brought ashore goods in East Wear Bay. Preventive forces knew most people were in cahoots with the trade and expected no help in catching them.

Marine Traffic
Have you ever wondered what that ship was just out at sea? Where it was going?
Where it had been? Use the interactive map below to find out.
Use your mouse to drag to a location - Use the zoom bar for fine tuning - Click on a craft for details

Victoria Pier
Local estate agent G.B. Trent formed the Folkestone Pier & Lift Co. in the early 1880s, originally proposing an 800 foot pier. The foundation stone was laid on 7th May 1887 and the Victoria Pier (in honour of the 1887 Golden Jubilee), opened on 21st July 1888 to the design of M.N. Ridley. The finished length was 683 feet and included a 700-seat pavilion. The first floating landing stage was added in 1890 but was rarely used.

The pier was popular but not profitable until 1898. In 1903, Keith Prowse & Co. Ltd. took over the lease on the pavilion and introduced variety performers including Lily Langtry and Dan Leno. In 1907, the lease on the pier transferred to local businessman Robert and Lloyd Forsyth who abandoned expensive entertainers in favour of more profitable attractions such as wrestling, a cinema, and beauty contests.

In 1910, the 'Olympia' roller-skating rink was added on the shore to the west of the pier. The pier was sectioned in 1940 for defence purposes. A temporary bridge was installed in 1943, but a fire on Whit Sunday wrecked the pavilion and badly damaged the seaward end of the pier. The remains were demolished in 1954.

View The Victoria Pier

View The Victoria Pier

The Switch Back 1904

The Switch Back 1904

Hover over the image below for a close-up of Folkestone 100 years ago

Folkestone - The Victoria Pier - Find the Camera Obscura - See the Switchback - Catch the person throwing out a bucket of water off the Leas

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The Lower Leas Coastal Park Today

Click on the titles for details - Use the Zoom bar to view

  • Coastal Park

    The coastal park is a wonderful Place to walk and explore. The playground is brilliant, well maintained, safe and lots of fun! Good places to picnic and the Mermaid cafe is great for meals, snacks & ice cream!
    Attractive walk from Folkestone to Sandgate, close to the sea. The park has facilities for barbecues and picnics and areas for children to play. There is a small arena where bands often play and the grounds alongside the walk are well planted.
  • Metropole Steps

    The coastal park is a wonderful Place to walk and explore the playground is brilliant, well maintained, safe and lots of fun! Good places to picnic and the Mermaid cafe is great for meals, snacks & ice cream!
    Attractive walk from Folkestone to Sandgate, close to the sea. The park has facilities for barbecues and picnics and areas for children to play. There is a small arena where bands often play and the grounds alongside the walk are well planted.
  • Mermaid Cafe

    The coastal park is a wonderful Place to walk and explore the playground is brilliant, well maintained, safe and lots of fun! Good places to picnic and the Mermaid cafe is great for meals, snacks & ice cream!
    Attractive walk from Folkestone to Sandgate, close to the sea. The park has facilities for barbecues and picnics and areas for children to play. There is a small arena where bands often play and the grounds alongside the walk are well planted.
  • Bandstand

    Starting from the Leas Bandstand, the Zig Zag Path takes you down to the 350-seat Amphitheatre where a programme of free events, including music, magic, comedy and drama, is held each summer.
  • Zig Zag Path

    The Zig Zag Path was built in 1921 as a new attraction and to provide work for the unemployed. As natural as it looks, the cliff-face and grottoes are entirely artificial, being built of mostly waste material and coated in special cement called Pulhamite after its creator James Pulham. Now a listed structure, the path is one of the country’s finest examples of his work.
  • Amphitheatre

    The coastal park is a wonderful Place to walk and explore the playground is brilliant, well maintained, safe and lots of fun! Good places to picnic and the Mermaid cafe is great for meals, snacks & ice cream!
    Attractive walk from Folkestone to Sandgate, close to the sea. The park has facilities for barbecues and picnics and areas for children to play. There is a small arena where bands often play and the grounds alongside the walk are well planted.
  • Leas Cliff Hall

    Leas Cliff Hall is an Entertainment and Function venue situated on the Leas Folkestone. The Grand Hall seats 900 and it has a standing capacity of 1500. It currently presents a varied programme of touring shows including concerts, comedy, ballet.
  • Leas Lift

    The Leas Lift opened in 1885 to improve access between the seafront and the upper Leas. The park and seafront with their new pier, switchback
    ride, and beach amusements were so popular that a second lift was added in 1890. The remains of a further lift serving the Metropole can still be seen, and yet another lift connected the western end of the Leas with Sandgate.

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Folkestone, like most settlements on the south coast, became involved in smuggling during the eighteenth century. At the beginning of the 1800s a harbour was developed, but it was the coming of the railways in 1843 that would have the bigger impact. With it came the tourist trade, and the two industries contributed to its prosperity until changes in tourist opportunities in the mid twentieth century hollowed out its economy.
Until the 19th century Folkestone remained a small fishing community with a seafront that was continually battered by storms and encroaching shingle that made it hard to land boats. In 1807 an Act of Parliament was passed to build a pier and harbour which was built by Thomas Telford in 1809. By 1820 a harbour area of 14 acres (5.7 hectares) had been enclosed. Folkstone's trade and population grew slightly but development was still hampered by sand and silt from the Pent Stream. The Folkestone Harbour Company invested heavily in removing the silt but with little success. In 1842 the company became bankrupt and the Government put the derelict harbour up for sale. It was bought by the South Eastern Railway Company (SER), which was then building the London to Dover railway line. George Turnbull was responsible in 1844 for building the Horn pier. Dredging the harbour, and the construction of a rail route down to it, began almost immediately, and the town soon became the SER’s principal packet station for the Continental traffic to Boulogne.
Folkestone Harbour Company commissioned Foster Associates to produce a masterplan for Folkestone which was published in April 2006. The plans describe the rebuilding of the harbour as a marina, a "Green Wave" along the sea front linking countryside west and east of the town, new housing, shops, a performance area and small university campus. The plans take in the land that was previously the Rotunda Amusement Park. Progress in developing the area has been inhibited by the recession and by new guidelines governing flood protection. A new approach to the seafront is being developed by Terry Farrell and Partners, and the former fairground site is being considered for temporary recreational use whilst planning takes place.
However, there is an alternative plan being developed by the Remembrance Line Association which is based on retaining the harbour railway and its station as a major heritage/tourist operation and 'Leaving for War' museum. The harbour railway station, now unused, is gradually succumbing to nature.
Although Kent was the first part of the British mainland to be conquered and settled by the invading Angles, Saxons and Jutes from the middle of the 5th century AD onwards, after the departure of the Romans, it was not until the late 7th century that the spelling Folcanstan appears. One suggestion is that this refers to Folca's stone; another suggestion is that it came from an Old English personal name, with the addition of stone, possibly meaning, in this context, "meeting place". It was not until the mid 19th century that the spelling of "Folkestone" was fixed as such, with the Earl of Radnor requesting that the town's name be standardised (although this tendency towards standardisation in the 19th century is true of English place names generally). Folkestone is often misspelt, variants including Folkston, Folkstone & Folkeston.
Folkestone - The Channel Tunnel
At nearby Cheriton, the Channel Tunnel takes passengers and freight to the continent by rail. The tunnel consists of three parallel tunnels running between the respective portals, or tunnel entrances, at either end. There are two rail tunnels, measuring 7.6 m (25 ft) in diameter and about 30 m (98 ft) apart, which carry trains north-west and south-east. Between the rail tunnels is a service tunnel, 4.8 m (16 ft) in diameter, which is connected by cross-passages to the main tunnels at intervals of approximately 375 m (1,230 ft). The service tunnel, served by narrow rubber-tyred vehicles, gives maintenance workers access to the rail tunnels and provides a route for escape during emergencies.

The two running tunnels are directly linked every 250 m (820 ft) by 2 m diameter pressure relief ducts (PRDs) that pass over the top of the service tunnel and do not connect to it. The PRDs alleviate the piston effect of trains by allowing airflow from moving trains to pass into the other running tunnel. Additionally, there are two enormous caverns situated about one third of the distance from shore to shore containing a rail crossover between the main tunnels. These crossovers permit sections of the tunnel to be closed to traffic for maintenance, using single-line working in the other tunnel. The UK crossover at 156 m long, 18 m wide and 10 m high is the largest subsea cavern in the world and, when being constructed, required extensive monitoring via almost 200 separate instrument stations.
At each portal there is a major facility allowing for trains to disassemble and turn around, including customs, maintenance, and other necessary services.

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